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Obama’s Obamacare Bait and Switch

The Supreme Court today ruled that Obamacare is constitutional because the enforcement mechanism for the individual mandate is a tax, which is exactly what President Obama insisted it was not.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in 2009, when the president was attempting to sell the law to the public, Obama was adamant that the penalty for failing to buy insurance was not a tax.

“I absolutely reject that notion,” Obama said under repeated questioning by Stephanopoulos. “For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” Obama said. “You can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase.”

Obama was desperate not to have the penalty termed a tax because if it were, it would clearly violate his pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class.

And yet after the law was signed, in a cynical slight of hand, Obama’s lawyers argued to the Supreme Court – and before it got there, in the lower courts – that the penalty in fact was a tax.

They did this because once the law was passed, the legal considerations trumped the political. Having the penalty qualify as a tax would make it immune to legal challenge, since Congress has an undisputed Constitutional right to tax.

And that’s exactly the argument that the Supreme Court accepted.

Here’s an excerpt from the ABC interview in which Obama is beside himself insisting the penalty is not a tax, even ridiculing suggestions to the contrary.

So if Obama’s lawyers had aired Obama’s own words instead of the argument they ended up making, the Supreme Court might have ruled against Obamacare.

32 Responses to Obama’s Obamacare Bait and Switch

  1. Great post, Keith. I have started thinking that I was wrong when I thought that striking down Obamacare would be very hurtful for Obama. Maybe it is the opposite. When the Supreme Court spells out that Obamacare really means new, high taxes it might fire up all the swing voters. Maybe it is possible to see this as bad for Obama, good for Romney. But first we have to endure Obamas grinning victory speech.

  2. Just saw this on Fox:

    Adults with No Coverage – Penalties:

    In 2014: 1% of your income or $95, whichever is greater
    In 2015: 2% of your income or $325, whichever is greater
    2016+: 2.5% of your income or $695, whichever is greater

    • Hmm, I think I’ll drop my coverage and pay the “tax”. Then, God forbid anyone in our family gets seriously ill, an insurance company MUST give me insurance, since they can’t exclude a pre-exisiting condition.

    • And that’s just for a single person. For two parents with an under 27 ‘child’ it would increase to over $2,000. $2,085, I think.

      • Yeah, as soon as I posted that, I realized that’s the “tax” per person. Ugh, on second thought, I can’t afford that.

        EFF YOU, King Obama and you a-hole Dem SOB’s.

    • It doesn’t matter what they say the tax is now… they can use any excuse next year to say unexpectantly the tax has to go up to 8000.00 per person…. sorry…. There is nothing to keep them from using any excuse to do that…….

  3. For the first time in our history, a person can be taxed for NOT buying something. If you have private health insurance ( NOT having it is a tax), then the cost of your private health insurance should be 100% deductable from your tax burden.

    What a mess.

    • Yes, perhaps they will decide the auto industry (or some other industry) is in trouble again and every American should buy a car. For those that choose not to own a car, there will be a “tax” of $1,000. Sounds crazy, right? Well, after today’s decision, there is NOTHING stopping congress from doing something like that. Hey, everyone should install solar panels on their houses. If you choose not to, then pay the tax. And so on and so on…

  4. If it was originally presented and voted on as a tax, it would have never even passed…the Dems wouldn’t have had the guts to do it.

  5. How else can the 17,000 newly minted IRS agents and auditors confiscate the ‘fines/penalties’ from the tax refunds and credits of the uninsured unless it is called a ‘tax’? Wasn’t there also talk of jail or prison time for the nasty ‘tax cheats/dodgers’?

  6. What else will BHO mandate? The SCOTUS gave their “opinions” about ObamaCare and revealed their “mis-guided” and “mis-interpretation” of the law which will result in “repression” of individual freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution! Now, Americans’ rights have been trampled by both the Exe & Judicial Branches. The SCOTUS upheld the ADM’s “power-grab” on the Citizens’ resources and with complete disregard for the “people’s voices” – our elected representatives!

    If OBC is not repealed, almost $400+ BILLION will be collected by the IRS in the next few years beginning 2013! The IRS will have the power to disregard/dis-allow any and every legitimate deduction for individuals and businesses in order to raise funds. The IRS will be able to collect taxes on medical devices’ manufacturers – which means those costs will be passed on to the parents of millions of disabled children, to millions of adults of every age, especially to the elderly! Every revenue stream Americans and businesses have used will be taxed!

    With a “broken free press” that is decidedly in step with the WH, and NOT doing their job of properly informing the American citizens, it is disturbing that a 2600 page “unintelligibly-written” document that was passed without being “scrutinized” by Congress or the MSM or, NOW, the SCOTUS has “flung” a once Proud, Free, Great Nation into more turmoil.

    Nov ’12 Election is more critical in deciding the direction of America than ever before! jb

    • Please stop using quotation marks for emphasis. They do not convey emphasis and instead look like you don’t really mean what you’re saying. If I say that Obamacare comes with penalty “fees,” it’s because we’re now calling them taxes. They’re not really fees, otherwise I wouldn’t put quotes around the word. For emphasis, I would say that the law punishes people for *inactivity* or for NOT doing something. Using quotes for emphasis undermines your message because each one quietly says, “but not really.”

      • Thank-you for your comments! Using quotation marks is meant to catch some readers attention as they skim through the many postings. jb

    • I agree Leigh.

      If the individual mandate was ruled constitutional under the Commerce Clause, it would have been a win for Obama, but since the mandate was ruled constitutional only as a tax, it exposes the president as a liar and a tax raiser on the middle class and small businesses. The version of the bill that Obama explained to the American people was unconstitutional.

      A classic bait and switch, yes.

  7. As of today all Americans are subject to paying a tax if they choose not to buy something. A punitive national tax. Today you will be taxed if you choose not to buy health care, and tomorrow it may well be that you will be taxed if you choose not to buy Michelle Obama approved food, or a Volt, or solar panels for your house, or the We Love Barack Hussein Obama tee shirt. The tax structure for voting will be zero tax for voting for the Obama National Socialist Democrat Party and $1500 for any other vote you choose to exercise. That’s your choice as Americans in Barack Obama’s America. All illegal aliens will not be taxed as they are privileged non citizens.

  8. Just as there has been a huge increase in the manufacturing of false identity cards, Social Security cards and other items that illegals need to get jobs and hide from the authorities, I foresee a cottage business of false insurance papers and policies.

    Wherever and whenever the government attempts to over reach its grasp, there will be some entrepreneur who will lay hold of that over reach, and make money. Be prepared for shell companies to begin popping up all over, offering documentation of insurance for a tenth the cost of a real policy or the penalty.

    Unfortunately, I can also foresee these same organization funneling this money to groups that are bent on destroying this country. Organized crime and terrorist networks always look for the weakest area of society to take advantage. This new mandate will provide them with another weak link in this nation, much like the drug trade has provided billions to these groups.

    • Shofar, great post. All that’s missing from your analysis is the image of a receptionist in a doctor’s office wearing a long leather coat and sneering “Papers please!” when you check in. Ugh…………..

      • All before the receptionist calls the toll-free IRS hotline to report them because they say they don’t have the insurance required to be seen.

        I’ve always said that eventually Americans would be legislated into tiny little boxes wherein any wrong movement in any direction will bring down the wrath of the government upon our heads. Unfortunately, that box just got substantially smaller.

  9. Remember this as you watch his announcement, and he makes all those promises about being able to keep your health care and blah blah blah

  10. I can’t even stand to look at or listen to that man right now. After hearing the news this morning, I finally had to quit thinking about it, turn off the tv and internet, the whole situation is so depressing.

    I remember feeling the same after Obama finagled a way to get the damn thing passed to begin with. One moment, you thought the Repubs had managed to keep it from passing, almost breathing a sigh of relief, and the next minute it was a done deal, with the most unbelievably underhanded, back-room shenanigans this country has ever seen. If I remember right, I think it was the same Reconciliation maneuvering that The Shyster in Chief used to cram this massive piece of crapola through Congress.

    Absolutely disgusted right now… How and why anyone would believe a single damn thing Obama or his cronies say anymore is just beyond me.

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